Crockpot Cashew Chicken

In our area, back to school is coming up fast. Today, we took our exchange student school supply shopping and just days ago, the last of Zach’s curriculum arrived for the year. There’s no shortage of planning and preparing for the school year, and that means a whole lot of busy days ahead, both as we soak up the last days of summer and prepare for the school year, and in the days ahead where we’re going to be teaching, working, and keeping the house clean.

Luckily, I have a crock pot. And trust me, I use it and use it often. I love being able to use my crock pot to keep meals easy, and starting a meal early means I get to work on other things and not worry about dinner.

I love this recipe that my grandmother gave me. She said she found it online, and, after doing a little searching, it looks like it is modified from Campbell’s themselves. Start with 5-6 chicken breasts, a can of Campbell’s cream of chicken soup, some onion, some green onion, a little soy sauce, and the cashews and chow mein noodles. Cook the chicken breasts first. Even better, you can pre-cook these another night and refrigerate. I try to make a chicken dish a day or two before this one, then refrigerate the cooked chicken until the day of this meal. Then, you have even less day-of prep!

Chop your chicken, onion, and green onion. You could also choose to do this before the day you’re cooking to eliminate your day-of prep.

Spray your crock pot with some non-stick cooking spray, then load in all of the ingredients except the rice and the chow mein noodles. I typically leave out one of the cans of cashews in order to reserve them for a topping at the end.

Stir in the soup and soy sauce, coating the ingredients. It might look a little strange, but I promise, it’s so delicious! Turn your crock pot on low for 5-9 hours, or set it on high for 2-3 hours. It’s just long enough to get the kids through the day on low, or enough to take care of those “oh, shoot! I just got home and realized I forgot to turn on the crock pot!” moments on high.

Finish your meal with a little cooked rice and some crunchy chow mein noodles, along with the rest of the cashews.


Crock Pot Cashew Chicken

5-6 breasts cooked chicken, diced
1/2 Cup diced onion
1/2 Cup diced green onion
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 can cream of chicken soup
Chow mein noodles
Non-stick cooking spray

Spray the inside of the crock pot with non-stick cooking spray.
Combine all ingredients except chow mein noodles in crock pot.
Cook 5-9 hours on low, or on high for 2-3 hours.
Serve over rice, with chow mein noodles and additional cashews for crunch.

In the mood for Asian food? Check out more dishes inspired by the far East by looking at my Ramen Slaw or my Dipped Almond Cookies.


Are you a crock pot fan? Do you use yours year-round or in winter? Let me know your crock pot habits in the comments below!


Enchilada-Style Ham and Cheese

Everyone loves comfort food, right? From dumplings to chicken and noodle soup, comfort foods keep us happy and make us feel… well, comforted. One of my favorite comfort foods growing up was grilled cheese with tomato soup for dipping. Who doesn’t love rich, hearty tomato soup with a hot, gooey, melty grilled cheese sandwich?

I remember the first time that it occurred to me in my first apartment that, while making a grilled cheese on my George Foreman, I could add ham to make it better. Obviously, that’s nothing new. Hot ham and cheese sandwiches are pretty standard, but it blew my mind at the time.

The other day, I picked up a can of tomato soup at the store and realized I could combine a few of my favorite things for something unique, and that’s how this recipe sort of came about… it’s the best of comfort foods with a special twist.


Southwest Chicken and Rice Bake

I like easy dinners. I mean really easy dinners. With Jeffrey playing soccer non-stop, Zach having a great Music and Movement class, and all of the other day-to-day life, sometimes it is almost dinner time and I’ve forgotten to even think about dinner. It has nothing to do with me having trouble putting down the book I’m reading or anything. It’s totally everyone’s schedules. I swear.

Anyway, this dinner is so ridiculously easy that I can’t believe I didn’t make it sooner.

Start out with three-ish chicken breasts. It’s not an exact science. I used 3 because I had 3 thawed, but if they’re really big, use two. If they’re tiny, use more. You’ll also need 3 bags of Birds Eye Steamfresh Specially Seasoned Southwestern Style Rice. It is seasoned, and has bell peppers, onions, and corn already in it. You’ll also want to check into Campbell’s Great for Cooking Soups– a can of Cream of Chicken and a can of Cheddar Cheese soup are perfect. Add in a drained can of Rotel and you’re golden. I used Mild Rotel because my family just can’t take the spice, but if your family is able to handle it, by all means, load that puppy up with some Hot Rotel (or at least Original).

Cook the chicken fully, then shred it into bite-sized pieces.

Pour the still-frozen rice in and break it up. Yes, it will be a little bit icy– that’s part of how it steams. This will cook into the food when you bake the dish. Now, mix in your chicken.

You’re on the home stretch now with this dish… stir in the two great for cooking soups and the drained Rotel, then pop the casserole in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes, until the casserole is hot and bubbly.

It serves 6-8 people, and it’s so quick and easy to make that you’ll be out of the kitchen and back to reading… I mean, uh, driving the kids around to all of their stuff… in a heartbeat.

Love easy recipes? Try my Tuscan Sausage and Bean Soup, Pollo Magnifico Freezer Meal, or Hearty Cheeseburger Soup!

What’s your go-to “I forgot to cook dinner!” recipe? Share it in the comments below!

Sweet Microwave Meatballs and Pepped Up Tomato Soup Shooters

Throughout college, we had a lot of movie nights turned potlucks where everyone brought a snack to share. Typically, people brought chips and dip or whatever granola bars and Pop Tarts they had in their dorm room, but me? I had to shake things up. And, since I didn’t have access to a stove or oven, I relied on a very trusty book, A Man, A Can, A Microwave. In fact, this book became such a part of my college experience that I started buying it as a gift for dorm-bound high school graduates.

These meatballs are modified from one of those fantastic microwave recipes in that book, and they’re so easy to throw together with a few cans and very little prep work. I like to keep the ingredients on hand for unexpected guests since it makes such a great appetizer.

All you do is grab a microwave safe dish or bowl, like a Pyrex bowl, and pour in 1 can of sloppy joe sauce (I love Manwich brand!), 8 ounces of crushed pineapple (Dole is my favorite), 2 Tablespoons of Teriyaki Sauce (La Choy around here), 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar, 1/2 a cup of finely chopped green bell pepper, and 2 teaspoons of Tastefully Simple Fiesta Dip Mix, to add a kick. After mixing that together, add in a pound of frozen pre-cooked meatballs. Microwave that for 12-14 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Now, I’ve dressed up these meatballs on a pretty plate with cocktail forks from Party City for a girls’ night in party, but you can serve them fresh out of the bowl at a tailgate party. They’re perfect for dressing them up or down, however you please.

In the back of the above picture, I also have my pepped up tomato soup shooters and two-cheese faux grilled cheese. These were two more college recipes that eventually became party favorites.

The Tomato Soup is super easy! Just take one can of Campbell’s Tomato Soup, and instead of making it with water, make it with milk to keep it extra creamy. Add in 1 teaspoon of minced garlic and 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning. Microwave or warm on the stove until heated through, and, if you’d like, serve in a soup bowl with a swirl of sour cream and some oyster crackers, or serve in these elegant cordial glasses from Party City.

Top it with skewered Two-Cheese Faux Grilled Cheese, and you’re all set. What makes it faux grilled cheese, though? Well, this isn’t your ordinary stovetop grilled cheese… take two slices of bread and stick them in the toaster. When they pop up, immediately sandwich a slice of American Cheese and a slice of Provolone between them and let the cheese melt. If it’s not quite melted enough, pop it in the microwave for about 10 seconds until the cheese melts, then slice into triangles.

Perfect recipes, and you don’t even need access to a stove to make them!